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Minkah Fitzpatrick: Personal Foul vs. Vikings Result of ‘Poor Officiating’

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Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said the personal foul penalty called against him in the end zone against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday was the result of “poor officiating.”

Fitzpatrick was flagged for unnecessary roughness for his hit that knocked the ball away from Vikings receiver K.J. Osborn on Thursday.

Minnesota was driving in the third quarter when Kirk Cousins to Osborn in the end zone over the middle, with cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon trailing in coverage. The pass was behind Osborn, but he was in the process of wrestling it away from Witherspoon when Fitzpatrick came across and hit him in the midsection.

Fitzpatrick felt the hit was a clean one and did not warrant the flag.

“Very poor officiating,” Fitzpatrick said. “Calls like this can change the outcomes of games. Football is a violent sport. People will get hit hard legally. Receivers running across the middle know what they signed up for. It’s a part of the game.”

The Vikings got five yards and a first down from the penalty, but still had to settle for a field goal after the Steelers defense held. So the penalty did not impact the outcome of what became a one-score game.

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